By Eric Stengle, Founder, Family Sleep Diagnostics
Insomnia is a common condition impacting approximately 30% of American adults. Around 10% are likely to be suffering from acute insomnia.
Millions of people struggle to fall asleep each night and reasons range from stress to a physical health condition, or it could be due to a sleep disorder.
If the condition is temporary (a couple of days to a couple of weeks) and they can resume a normal sleep pattern relatively quickly, then it’s not a cause for serious concern.
If, however, struggling with sleep is an on-going saga and the condition does not improve even after a few weeks or a month, it might be time to seek help from a professional sleep coach.
Do I Have Insomnia?
Most people fail to seek professional help for insomnia for the simple reason that they are unaware they suffer from the condition.
It is easy for people to brush off their struggle with sleep – in most cases, the general perception is that their insomnia is a temporary condition and it will disappear soon enough.
However, delaying seeking treatment can worsen your condition. If you are unsure about whether you suffer from insomnia, go through this simple checklist.
- Do you find it difficult to fall asleep?
- Do you struggle to stay asleep each night?
- Do you find yourself waking up and then struggling to go back to sleep?
- Do you find yourself waking up early even if you have barely clocked a few hours of sleep?
- Do you suffer from fatigue, or find that your productivity and energy levels are low?
- Do you suffer from mood swings and poor concentration?
- Are you generally unsatisfied with the quantity and the quality of your sleep?
If you answered with a “yes” to most of these questions, then it is highly likely that you are suffering from insomnia.
Are You Suffering from Chronic Insomnia or Acute Insomnia?
Insomnia is classified as being acute if it is temporary, which can last for a few days or a few weeks. Insomnia is classified as being chronic if a person is unable to sleep or struggles to fall asleep a minimum of three nights a week and the condition extends to three months or more.
In people with acute insomnia, the condition is brought on due to immediate stress such as an important meeting or constant work deadlines that are difficult to meet. It could also be due to an upcoming exam or in response to a highly emotional circumstance.
Acute insomnia is common. Most people have experienced it at one point or another.
In the case of chronic insomnia, the condition is usually bought on due to multiple factors resulting from chronic health or mental health disorders.
In some people, chronic insomnia can be due to an underlying sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Other factors can include a change in work timings or even certain kinds of medication.
How is Insomnia Treated?
In order to treat insomnia, a thorough examination is necessary.
Aspects such as your current physical and mental condition as well as family health history, sleep patterns, prescribed medications, and underlying sleep disorder(s), if any, will be taken into consideration by your sleep coach or doctor.
Once an accurate diagnosis of your condition is made, your sleep specialist will then go ahead and map a treatment plan.
There are several different ways to treat insomnia.
In patients diagnosed with severe or chronic insomnia, treatment could involve cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). In this form of treatment, the patient is helped with and encouraged to improve the management of their actions, thoughts, and behavior.
In addition, the patient might be taught specific relaxation and stress reduction techniques.
To Wrap it Up
Any sleep disorder, including insomnia, should not be ignored because of the negative health consequences. If you are struggling to sleep or if you suffer from poor quality of sleep, it is important to seek professional help.
If left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to multiple chronic health conditions like cardiovascular diseases and Type 2 diabetes.
Family Sleep Diagnostics – Saving Lives and Marriages
If you or anyone close to you is suffering from insomnia or any other sleep disorder, we can help.
You can reach us at Family Sleep Diagnostics or give us a call at (972) 714-0011.